4+1 M Ed

The resident M.Ed. Special Education program at the University Park campus provides 30 credits of coursework and two supervised practicum experiences (7 credits), to prepare teachers to provide effective instruction for students with disabilities. Upon graduation, students are eligible for recommendation for Pennsylvania special education certification (and enjoy reciprocity with other states).

This combination of academic and practical experiences prepares M.Ed. candidates to meet the needs of all learners by

  • using adapted instruction to teach reading, writing, and math skills;
  • using appropriate techniques to assess learning;
  • creating a positive environment for learning.

Graduates of the program have gone on to work as general education and special education teachers in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, and other states.

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The 4+1 program at University Park

Eligibility. Students who have completed (or who are currently enrolled) in an undergraduate teacher certification program at Penn State have the opportunity to complete the M.Ed. in Special Education (and earn special education teacher certification in Pennsylvania) through the “4+1” program at the University Park campus. Students interested in the 4+1 program should complete the SPLED minor as undergrads, most importantly SPLED 400, 403 a/b, SPLED 419 (3 credits), and SPLED 525.

Outcomes. The 4+1 M.Ed. program will result (in five years) in

  1. a bachelor’s degree with initial teacher certification
  2. a Masters degree in Special Education, and
  3. recommendation for PA special education teacher certification.

Application process. Individuals interested in this program should complete an initial degree and teaching certification in their four years as undergraduate students; this part of the program can be completed at the University Park campus or a PSU commonwealth campus that provides a teaching certification program (elementary education, secondary education, physical education, music education, art education). The individual should also complete the minor in Special Education as part of their undergraduate program.

The teacher candidate then applies to the SPLED M.Ed. program in the fall of his/her senior year (i.e., a student should apply in fall ’17 in order to begin the M Ed program in summer ’18).  If the teacher candidate is accepted into the program, s/he will complete some online summer coursework and then a fall and spring semester in residence at University Park. Upon successful completion, the teacher candidate will graduate with an M.Ed. in Special Education and be eligible for recommendation for special education teacher certification in Pennsylvania. Individuals who are completing the initial teaching certification at a Penn State campus, and who are interested in the 4+1 program, are encouraged to contact for more information on this program.

The Program. M.Ed. students must accumulate a specified number of credits, complete a sequence of practicum courses, and write a master’s paper. Students will follow this course sequence during their fifth year of study:

Summer Session (after senior year and following acceptance into the 4+1 program, World Campus)

  • SPLED 525
  • SPLED 573

Fall Semester (University Park)

  • SPLED 411
  • SPLED 504
  • SPLED 512
  • SPLED 554
  • SPLED 595A

Spring Semester (University Park)

  • SPLED 509A
  • SPLED 509B
  • SPLED 509C
  • SPLED 595B
  • SPLED 521

1SPLED 525 can also be taken in the summer before a student’s senior year (as an undergraduate) and can be counted toward the SPLED minor (in place of SPLED 461). If the class is taken in the summer before the student’s senior year, there are special enrollment procedures. Please visit this link for more information.

This information is also available at https://ed.psu.edu/epcse/special-education/programs/masters-degree/m-ed-in-special-education

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